Bell peppers are used in so many different recipes. You might grow your own bell peppers because you like them so much, but this can cause you to have more of them than you can easily use before they go bad.
Sometimes people even find great deals on bell peppers at farmer’s markets and wind up going overboard. Maybe you bought way too many of them and now you’re worried that they’re going to go to waste.
If you know that you won’t be able to eat bell peppers in time, then it’s probably going to be a good idea to freeze some of them. Can you safely freeze bell peppers whole, though?
Keep reading to learn more about whether they can be frozen whole. You’ll also get important tips about how to freeze them the right way.
They Can Be Frozen Whole
The first thing to know is that bell peppers can indeed be frozen whole. This should typically only be done if you plan on using them to make stuffed peppers, though.
Essentially, you’re going to need to cut the tops off of the bell peppers before you place them into the freezer. You’re also going to need to scoop out the seeds before proceeding.
If you look at things a certain way, then you can see that you aren’t exactly freezing the bell peppers whole. You still have to cut the tops off and remove the seeds to be able to do things, and this means removing parts of the bell peppers.
The tops of the peppers can be placed back on before you place them into the freezer. You’ll just need to find some type of safe airtight container where they won’t be exposed to moisture.
Always Wash Bell Peppers Before Freezing Them
Before going any further with the freezing process, it’s going to be necessary to wash your bell peppers. You don’t want them to be dirty before they’re frozen, and it won’t take all that long to wash them off.
Just wash them thoroughly so that you can be sure that they’re clean. When you’re done with this, you’ll need to dry them off.
Bell peppers can easily be dried by patting them down with a dry cloth. This step of the process is crucial and should never be forgotten.
Take the Time to Check Your Peppers for Soft Spots
You don’t want to freeze certain peppers that have soft spots on them. Peppers that have these soft spots simply aren’t going to freeze well, and you’d be better off using the good parts of those peppers immediately.
All you really need to do is take the time to visually check the peppers out. Touch them a bit to identify any soft spots that are present.
If you see any mold on the peppers, you’re not going to want to freeze them. You can try to cut around soft spots to use parts that are still good if you’d like to, but you might not want to do this at all if mold is present.
Simply put, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. It isn’t worth it to try to use a pepper that looks like it’s going bad because you don’t want to make yourself sick or eat something that tastes funny.
Bell Peppers Are Easier to Freeze and Store When Diced
Although you can store bell peppers whole, it might be easier for you to store them when they’re diced up. You’ll have an easier time fitting diced peppers into an airtight container than you will whole peppers.
When you’re dicing the peppers up, it’s going to be imperative to remember to remove the stem and the seeds. You don’t want to accidentally freeze the stem and the seeds along with the diced peppers.
Some people find it easiest to scrape the peppers out using a knife. You could also choose to cut out the white pith.
The important thing to remember is to remove the seeds and stem. Once the peppers are diced, you’ll be able to find a container for them and freeze them for later use.
Label the Containers or Freezer Bags
You’re going to be storing your peppers in either airtight containers or freezer bags of some sort. No matter what you’re using to store them in the freezer, it’s going to be wise to place labels on them.
The idea here is that you can make a label for the container or freezer bag that has information about the peppers. The most important thing to write on the label is the date of freezing, but it’s also wise to write to remind yourself that the container has bell peppers in it.
Once everything has been labeled properly, you’ll be able to place the container or freezer bag in your freezer. Simply find a good safe spot in the freezer where the bell peppers won’t get smashed and everything should be fine.
It is worth noting that you should try to place your peppers in the back of the freezer where it’s coldest. This will ensure that the peppers stay frozen and that they’ll be good when you go to thaw them out.
If you have a good freezer, then it might not matter so much where the bell peppers are positioned. Even so, it’s not a bad idea to find a spot for them in the back of the freezer if you can.
Use the Bell Peppers Before Six Months Have Passed
If you want the bell peppers to be as good as possible, then you’re going to need to use them up before six months have passed. Waiting longer than this makes it more likely that freezer burn will set in.
Freezer burn is something that happens to food that has been frozen for way too long. For the most part, frozen vegetables need to be eaten before they’ve been in a freezer for eight months or they won’t be good any longer.
To avoid any issues, you should try to eat the bell peppers by the time they have been in the freezer for six months. This should help you to keep them tasting great, and you’ll be able to use them in dishes without having to worry about the flavor being compromised.
When you try to eat bell peppers that have freezer burn, it’s going to be less than ideal. You’ll certainly notice a difference in the overall taste, and it’s going to make it harder for you to make dishes taste right.
At a certain point, bell peppers that have been frozen too long will just need to be thrown out. Otherwise, you’ll just be eating peppers that taste kind of nasty or don’t taste like much of anything at all.
Frozen Peppers Will Be Less Crisp Than Usual
It’s good to understand that the freezing process will change the peppers a bit. Even if you use them fairly fast after freezing, it will cause them to lose a bit of their usual crispness.
This means that frozen bell peppers might not be ideal for certain types of recipes. If you’re going to make something where you’d notice the lack of crispness, it might be better to buy fresh peppers.
You can easily use frozen bell peppers in many dishes and have things taste great, though. It’s recommended to use them in grilled and cooked recipes where they can still shine after being thawed out.
Essentially, the peppers won’t be as good to eat when they aren’t cooked or grilled. Thankfully, there are a ton of amazing stir fry recipes and casseroles that utilize them.
Now that you know what it takes to freeze bell peppers the right way, it’s going to be easier for you to get good results. Bell peppers can be frozen whole, but you’re going to need to take the seeds out first to get good results.
It might seem like a bit of work to chop the tops off to scoop out the seeds, but it’s definitely necessary. Overall, this process won’t take long, and you’ll be able to get good results when freezing bell peppers whole like this.
Some people find it to be much more convenient to freeze diced bell peppers since they take up less space in the freezer. You’ll be able to easily fit them in a freezer bag if you go this route, but you’ll want to keep the peppers whole if you want to make stuffed peppers at some point.
Remember to label your bell peppers when you put them in the freezer no matter what method you utilize. It’s important to know how long they have been in the freezer so that you can use them before freezer burn sets in.
Enjoy your bell peppers and know that you don’t have to let them go to waste. It’ll be easy for you to get good results when freezing them moving forward when you follow the advice above.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.